Dementia is one of the most crippling conditions faced by people worldwide, one in which your capacity to think and retain memory gets gradually worse over time. As a term, "dementia" actually qualifies as a number of different diseases, the most common of which is Alzheimer's disease, which accounts for anywhere between 50% - 70% of cases.
There is no cure for the disease, and your risk of it becomes increasingly high as you age, going from 3% of people between the ages of 65 - 74, 19% of people between 75 - 84, and almost 50% of people age 85 or higher. In 2013, the disease was recorded as causing over 1.7 million deaths worldwide, leaving researchers perpetually searching for a way to minimized its impact on even more people.
While a cure still has yet to be found, researchers are getting better at spotting the symptoms of dementia, and, more importantly, coming up with ways to train your brain to be resistant to the disease. In particular, the Lancet Commission recently identified several major factors that they claim can lead to the prevention of 34% of cases of dementia...
Over 24 researchers at the Lancet Commission collected data on people suffering from dementia, and after pouring over massive amounts of it, they were able to isolate a few factors and habits that can greatly reduce your risk of contracting the disease.
For starters, a few are major lifestyle choices, but ones that can have a massive impact. Quitting smoking and controlling obesity are found to not only have tons of other benefits for your health, but also reduce your risk of contracting dementia by a significant amount.
Others are more on the medical side of things. If you suffer from diabetes, hearing loss, or even mental conditions such as depression, these are shown to also contribute quite a bit to the onset of dementia. Consulting your doctor about managing and treating these conditions can do quite a bit to help.
Finally, scientists absolutely stressed the importance of education, even past the age of 15. According to them, continuing to learn and keeping your brain sharp builds up a "cognitive reserve" in your brain, meaning that you're more likely to retain your mental faculties even as the disease manifests itself in your brain. Staying physically active also contributes to this, making it just as important.
What do you think? Do you plan on taking these bits of advice on preventing dementia?